Oct. 13, 2004
Junior defensive tackle Julian Jenkins is featured in the eighth installment of a weekly column of player reports that lets Cardinal Commitment readers in on the thoughts of Stanford football players. Stanford next travels to Washington State for its first Pac-10 road contest of the season in a game to be televised live by Fox Sports Net this Saturday, October 16 (7:15 pm, PDT).
CC: After a tough loss to Notre Dame on the road last week, what is the attitude of the team as you head to Washington State for another road game this week?
JJ: As a team, we want to dominate by making sure that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. We're very focused on the Washington State game this week. We've watched a lot of film, and we want to make sure that we know our own game plan. By focusing on ourselves, we don't allow for a lot of distractions. We're not thinking about the crowd, or the fact that our record is 3-2 instead of 5-0. We want to make sure we execute, and that everyone knows his individual assignments. It creates a sense of responsibility within the team.
CC: How important is it to go to Washington State and post a victory on Saturday?
JJ: Not only is it important to go in there and get a win, but we have to get a quality win to where we accomplish everything that we set out to do. It's important so that the success will roll over into the next week and the next week, and so on.
CC: You switched positions from defensive end to defensive tackle this season. How has the transition gone?
JJ: The transition was not very hard. As a defensive end, I was on the outside of the opposing offensive tackle, and now I'm on the inside. The only difference is that I collide head on with the offensive lineman every play now instead of hitting him from different angles or stunting.
CC: The defense has had some great success this season. What type of role does the defensive line play in the greater scheme of the defense?
JJ: We have to set the tone for the defense because they rely on us to stop the run. If the run stops behind the line of scrimmage, the play is over and that creates a sense of domination. If we can "change the math" of a play, such as taking an offensive tackle two yards up the field or making a running back bounce outside or cut too far inside, then we've been able to change the way that the offense plays the game.
CC: The defensive unit has a great amount of depth this season. How has that helped the play of the defense?
JJ: You could see the depth in the USC game when Mike Silva came off the bench and played a great game. It is great to know that everyone is paying attention to detail, and is ready to go at any point in time.
CC: With the season nearing its midpoint, what upcoming games stick out in your mind as the most pivotal to the success of this season?
JJ: We really go game-to-game and look forward to playing each game individually. But, the Washington State game and the Oregon game are going to be big for us along with the Cal game, because they beat us at home last year. We think of this season as a payback year. We try to urge ourselves to remember games that we lost last year and have those emotions built within us, so that we can attack those teams and dominate them.
CC: What kind of influence has defensive tackles coach Dave Tipton had on your play?
JJ: The fact that coach Tipton played defensive tackle in college and in the NFL enables us to trust him because he's been there before. He knows what it takes to be successful at the defensive tackle position, and we're all willing to listen to him and follow his lead.
CC: You state senior Babatunde Oshinowo is the teammate that you most admire. What is it about Babatunde that you admire?
JJ: Babatunde's stoicism and his strength are what I admire the most. The fact that Babatunde doesn't know his own strength is really big to me. He's the strongest guy on our team, and you wouldn't know it just sitting and talking to him.